Alejandro Dominguez of Paraguay has been elected as the fourth president in three years of turmoil for the governing body of South American soccer.
ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Alejandro Dominguez of Paraguay has been elected as the fourth president in three years of turmoil for the governing body of South American soccer.
Dominguez was the only candidate to lead CONMEBOL and received all 10 votes from the 10 member federations. Wilmar Valdez of Uruguay withdrew his candidacy before the voting began.
The Paraguayan official also becomes a FIFA vice president and member of its often-discredited executive committee until May 2019.
Dominguez steps into the positions after the last three CONMEBOL presidents were implicated in taking bribes from marketing contracts for the continent's marquee Copa America tournament.
All three were arrested at the request of U.S. authorities in a sweeping corruption scandal surrounding FIFA and Latin America in particular.
The previous CONMEBOL president was Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, a close friend of Dominguez, who was arrested in Switzerland last month and agreed to be extradited to the United States.
CONMEBOL, which had 3 straight presidents indicted, elects right-hand man of 3rd indictee as new president in a 1-candidate election.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 26, 2016
Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay faces charges in his own country after Swiss authorities who arrested him last May agreed to extradite him home instead of to the U.S.
Previously, Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay led CONMEBOL for almost three decades before leaving FIFA in 2013 to avoid sanctions in a long-running World Cup kickbacks case. Leoz was also indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice last May and is under house arrest in Paraguay.
CONMEBOL members filled a second vacancy on the FIFA executive committee by picking Argentina federation president Luis Segura.
The election meeting in Asuncion was attended by FIFA presidential candidates Gianni Infantino, the UEFA general secretary from Switzerland, and former FIFA vice president Prince Ali of Jordan.